December 2013 M T W T F S S « Aug 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
- Long standing plan for Chemical Weapons false flag attack in Syria
- Chemical Weapons False Flag Against Syria Update
- Bloodshed in Cairo as pro-Morsi camps cleared – video report
- Snowden issued Russian entry papers, leaves airport
- Syrian ‘Rebels’ wearing uniforms supplied by France, execute unarmed prisoner in cold blood
Africa Alternative voices Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo DJIBOUTI/ETHIOPIA Egypt false flag operations France Ghana Guantanamo Homs Huwaisa massacre Ivory Coast libya Mali Neocons oil Ramadan regime change Ron Paul Rwanda syria syrian girl UK foreign policy UN United Nations US foreign policy wahabi war crimes
- Long standing plan for Chemical Weapons false flag attack in Syria | Not in our name on Chemical Weapons False Flag Against Syria Update
- FlutePlayer on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Commits (political) Suicide
- - on CIA and NATO in Syria – first hand accounts
- - on Mossad & CIA death squads behind Syria bloodbath, Webster Tarpley Fact Finding trip to Syria
Egyptian military massacres unarmed supporters of democratically elcted government
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been issued papers which will allow him to enter Russian territory, according to his legal representative in the country. Sources say he has already left the airport.
“I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone,” Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax.
Snowden has already left the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, an RT crew at the scene has confirmed.
The whistleblower has been granted temporary political asylum in Russia, Rossiya 24 news channel reports.
Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, came to international prominence after leaking several classified documents detailing massive electronic surveillance by the US government and foreign allies who collaborated with them.
Snowden was hiding out in a Hong Kong hotel when he first went public in May. Amidst mounting US pressure on both Beijing and local authorities in the former-British colony to hand the whistleblower over for prosecution, Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23.
Moscow was initially intended as a temporary stopover on his journey, as Snowden was believed to be headed to Ecuador via Cuba. However, he ended up getting stranded at Sheremetyevo Airport after the US government revoked his passport. Snowden could neither leave Russia nor enter it, forcing him to remain in the airport’s transit zone.
In July, Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia, a status that would allow him to live and work in the country for one year. Kucherena earlier said the fugitive whistleblower is considering securing permanent residency in Russia, where he will attempt to build a life.
EU to allow Syrian ‘rebels’ to sell oil to fund their violence, in contravention of international law
EU to allow Syrian ‘rebels’ to sell oil to fund their violence, in contravention of international law
Gearoid O’Colmain tells the truth about the western plan for control of Syrian oil
Video shows how some of the 140 detainees at Guantanamo are tortured (force fed)
Amongst this PR piece for the Ginger Prince, is an interesting account of the random murder of some Afghan goatherds by US forces in Afghanistan
Prince Harry was no more than 220 yards away when a US trooper standing aboard an armoured vehicle cocked a .50 calibre machine gun and fired successive bursts at Afghan shepherds tending their goats, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The shocking incident, which was confirmed last night by the Ministry of Defence, triggered a war crimes investigation by US military police.
It took place on Harry’s first frontline tour of Afghanistan, which, until today, has been shrouded in secrecy.
At the time Harry’s squadron from the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) were mounting joint patrols in Helmand province with a US Special Forces unit codenamed ‘Task Force 32’.
According to a British eye- witness the three shepherds were peacefully minding their own business when they were engaged.
Given the force of the heavy machine gun rounds it is likely they suffered serious or fatal injuries, though their bodies were never recovered.
Harry’s colleague Sergeant Deane Smith, 40, was so enraged that he recorded his reaction on a video camera, saying: ‘The Americans are fifty-caling [machine-gunning] goat herders and it’s disgraceful!’
Sgt Smith then zoomed in on the armoured vehicle from where the US trooper had launched his attack.
Sgt Smith, a commando engineer, has given the first graphic account of Harry’s front-line experiences and how the Prince dodged repeated Taliban ambushes.
Harry’s first tour ended in February 2008 after an Australian magazine broke a media embargo over his presence in the war zone.
Subsequent reports suggested Harry was treated as a VIP rather than just another junior officer while he was there. In fact, as this newspaper has established, he was pitched into the thick of the fighting.
Sgt Smith has told The Mail on Sunday how the day before Task Force 32 opened fire on the shepherds, Harry witnessed the deaths of young children when a Taliban rocket intended to strike his vehicle missed its target and struck an Afghan family home.
Sgt Smith also described how Harry, then just 23, displayed a remarkable empathy for his soldiers, some of whom were overwhelmed by the horrors of war.
He said: ‘I’ll never forget the Yank opening up on the shepherds, which was a completely unjustified attack and sadly typical of how the campaign was conducted. But Harry had a way of reconciling everything he saw and keeping his emotions in check, often when more experienced soldiers were crying their eyes out.
‘On the day of the rocket attack on the family home, Harry was there, comforting a soldier as the charred remains of young children were removed.
‘He also arranged for the wounded to be transferred from the battlefield to a military hospital.
‘The dead were very young, their arms the width of two of my fingers. This was horrible to see.
‘In early 2008, I spent ten weeks in Helmand with Harry and he was fearless throughout, even when armoured cars were being blown up and he was being shot at.
‘Looking back, I can’t believe he was so keen to subject himself to such danger.’
Sgt Smith added that Harry’s disregard for his safety unsettled his soldiers, who would implore him to swap his favourite baseball cap for a protective helmet whenever enemy rounds were fizzing overhead.
Harry also came within a single stride of setting off a live IED (improvised explosive device), a brush with death he laughed off as he lit another from an endless chain of cigarettes.
Harry was apparently critical of British tactics and complained when his armoured column were ordered to retreat – at the time UK and US forces were involved in Operation Snakebite, the battle to recapture the town of Musa Qala in Helmand province from the Taliban.
BBC correspondent in Afghanistan admits pro-army bias ‘Embedded in Iraq: ‘a tool in the military tool box, willingly or not’
Caroline Wyatt has covered the conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq for the BBC. In the first instalment of a two-part blog to mark the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, she describes the nature of the relationship between the media and the military in 2003 and what that meant for embedded journalists:
Caroline Wyatt reporting from Iraq
It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since we stood nervously by our vehicles on the Iraq border with Kuwait, scarves over our faces to protect us from the vicious sandstorm that whipped up in the region that long March day, waiting for our war to start.
For the dozens of journalists ‘embedded’ with British forces as they drove into Iraq that day, the war was threatening a rather belated beginning.
A Kuwaiti border guard was insisting that, even if we were part of a higgledy-piggledy column of British military and civilian vehicles, driving through long after the initial US tanks and Humvees, we didn’t have the right stamps in our passports to invade Iraq.
Thankfully, after much shouting and gesticulating through mouthfuls of sand, someone in British uniform persuaded the border guard that he really should let us through. We had a war to cover and it wasn’t going to wait for us.
It was almost worthy of Evelyn Waugh’s comic yet brilliantly accurate novel of war corresponding, Scoop. For a journalist, conflict provides some of the most vivid and powerful stories of humanity; of individual or collective acts of great courage; of good versus evil. But just as often we end up covering stories in shades less identifiable – where it can be hard to tell friend from foe, victory from stalemate, or when tragedy and comedy sit perilously close, and information is hard to come by – as it was in the early days of Iraq, a war that was, and remains, deeply controversial in the UK and elsewhere.
We often talk about the media and the military. But really there are no such things. I prefer to think of us first as individuals, and then as tribes, rather than homogenous blocks: the broadcasting tribe and the newspaper tribe within the media and the Army tribe and all its sub-units, and the RAF and Royal Navy and Royal Marine tribes that make up the military.
Just as any of those tribes can work together, and are part of a collective, each can also come into conflict with the other or within its own sub-tribes at any moment, and loyalties can be stretched in unexpected ways.
In 2003, we had to sign up to embed as official ‘war correspondents’, sign the Green Book with the MoD/military, and agree that all our copy and images would be screened by our military media minders.
We had to train to protect ourselves from chemical/biological/nuclear warfare with the NBC respirators and rubber suits that the MoD would provide us with that February. And agree to embed for up to a year if necessary – if the war lasted that long.
We agreed, and were issued with our smart blue ‘war correspondent’ armbands. I learned that I would be one of the BBC team embedding with British forces attached to the media ‘hub’, which began in a desert somewhere in Kuwait before we crossed into Iraq.
On day one in the desert, in the heat and the sand, we quickly realised where the power lay – and it wasn’t with us. We knew that as embedded journalists our lives were in the forces’ hands. British forces cooked our meals, dug our shelters, gave us information, and controlled where we could go – and that was an uncomfortable position for any journalist to be in.
That first day we were told to put our tents up while wearing our unwieldy and hot NBC kit. It wasn’t necessary, but it did show us that we were not in charge and didn’t make the rules here. We did have our own vehicle but we were told not to use it. So we were also relying on the British forces we were with for access to people and places, as well as information.
It also meant that we had chosen a side to report from, albeit as part of a wider BBC team that also had journalists and crews inside Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad, giving a different perspective and the other side to the war.
And all those embedding, wherever they were, knew that they had become a tool in the military toolbox, willingly or not, which the military and governments on both sides would seek to use to send messages to each other and to the wider watching public around the globe. It was hard not to feel an instinctive sympathy and indeed empathy with the troops looking after us. A benign form of ‘Stockholm syndrome’, if you like.
But at the same time embedding did not mean that we gave up the right to be analytical or indeed critical in the best sense when reporting on what we saw.
People often talk about the fog of war. In and around Basra in spring 2003, the fog and dust of war kept getting in the way. One day we were briefed that 80 Iraqi tanks were seen coming out of Basra. Two hours later it was down to just one or two tanks.
All the media that day – whether us, Sky, ITN or Channel 4 – in the ‘Press Information Unit’ had to go back on air to say, rather sheepishly, that the 80 tanks we’d been briefed about didn’t exist. Had never existed. Well, at least 79 of them hadn’t. And as for the other one – who knows?
Snowden leaks on US domestic surveillance programme – there is more to come
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has indicated that he is willing to halt his leakage of US secrets, a condition for gaining Russian asylum, though the journalist who first published information from those leaks intends to continue.
Glenn Greenwald, a journalist working with both the British Guardian newspaper and Brazil’s O Globo, had been in direct contact with the now fugitive Snowden and coordinated with the former intelligence contractor ahead of publishing information on secret online surveillance programs.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that asylum for Snowden would be offered only under the condition that he releases no further information that could prove damaging to the US. Greenwald, however, has indicated that he would consider the intelligence provided by Snowden already in his possession fair game.
“There are many more domestic stories coming, and big ones, and soon,” Greenwald wrote in an email to Politico on Friday.
“Given everything I know, I’d be very shocked if he ever asked me that,” Greenwald told Politico when asked if he would halt publishing any sensitive information if Snowden were to ask.
“I’d deal with that hypothetical only in the extremely unlikely event that it ever happened, but I can’t foresee anything that would or could stop me from further reporting on the NSA documents I have,” he added.
On Friday, Snowden said that he would remain in Russia until able to get safe passage to Latin America, where he has been offered political asylum by Venezuela as well as Honduras. Comments made during a meeting with human rights activists at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport Friday also indicated that he intended to renew a petition for asylum from Russia.
“Snowden is serious about obtaining political asylum in the Russian Federation,” said Vyacheslav Nikonov, a lawmaker who attended the meeting at the Moscow airport, reports The Guardian.
Most recently, Greenwald in conjunction with several reporters with O Globo published further information showing the existence of a wide array of surveillance programs tracking citizens of South American countries.
O Globo cited documents this week indicating that from January to March of 2013, NSA agents carried out “spying actions” via the ‘Boundless Informant’ program, which collected telephone calls and Internet data. Agents also used PRISM from February 2 to 8 this year, O Globo said.
Essentially all of Latin America is reported to be targeted for surveillance, including Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador. The most intense surveillance according to O Globo seems to have been directed at Colombia, a key US ally in the so-called War on Drugs, as well as Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico.
Comments by Greenwald to Politico on Friday suggest that the journalist already has a backlog of leaks to work with, and that any agreement Snowden were to make with a foreign government in regards to conditions of political asylum would be independent of Greenwald’s publication of that information.
Meanwhile, Snowden released a statement on Friday via WikiLeaks, which has orchestrated his legal defense as well as asylum petitions, to convey that he would accept all offers of political asylum made to him.
“I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future,” Snowden stated during his meeting with rights activists and lawyers at Sheremetyevo.
“I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted,” he told the meeting.